TitleWho is looking after your e-journals? Telling Tales About The Keepers Registry & Your Digital Shelves
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBurnhill, Peter, and Pelle Françoise
Conference NameIFLA World Library and Information Congress, Singapore
Date Published06/2013
Conference LocationSingapore

The key task for research libraries is to ensure access to the scholarly and cultural record. A significant and growing proportion of that is in digital format and much is found on the Web – and not on the shelves of libraries. This raises important questions about the archival responsibility of libraries and publishers. Our purpose is to report on the current situation of e-journal preservation, on what is being archived and what is at risk of loss. We also indicate strategies that can be considered to meet an international challenge that requires recognition of mutual inter-dependence across the globe. The literature that is consulted and required by researchers in one country will often have been published by researchers in another country.

The first (and easiest) priority for research libraries is to focus on e-journals and take prompt and strategic action, both to avoid loss in the short term and to establish means to assess progress towards the (achievable) goal of ensuring that there is complete and effective e-preservation plans for all of our e-journal content. This is assisted by The Keepers Registry, http://thekeepers.org, which provides a lens onto the extent of e-journal archiving as the leading archiving agencies report what they have ingested. The sustainability of archiving activity, and the means to monitor that activity, is of major strategic importance.

A related priority is to tackle the variety of ‘serial issues’ that can improve the effectiveness of archiving and monitoring. These include identification (e.g. ISSN and ISSN-L) of all types of continuing resources, particularly journals but also ongoing ‘integrating resources’ such as databases and Web sites; the consistent naming and identification of publishers (e.g. ISNI); and the continuing need for a universal holdings statement for assurance that each and every volume and issue has been successfully archived.